Paige Parker proudly celebrates Singles Day on February 15 every single year. Who needs a man anyway? They have zero taste in quality television, leave the toilet seat up, and sleep with your best friend. No thanks.
The owner of a run down B&B, widower single dad Lucas Croft’s life is simple and quiet. It’s him and his five year old daughter. Who needs a woman anyway? They nag you to clean up your stuff, want the toilet seat put down, and expect the dishes to be done the same day the meal is served. No thanks.
But we all know the universe has a sense of humor, so of course Paige and Lucas’ two worlds collide–with hilarious results and a HEA.
On sale January 19, 2021 Thank you Sourcebooks for letting me be a part of the cover reveal!
Hello Book Friends! Here are the last 5 books I read in May. Hopefully I can get my May Stats up before my first June round up but not sure that will happen.
Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis – 4 Stars In this story we follow Piper who after raising her two younger siblings is finally ready to restart her life. She almost has enough money to go to school in Colorado to be a nurse. After years of being an EMT she is ready for this, however her siblings both decide to move back home at the same time interrupting Piper’s plans. As with most of her books, this is more than just a romance, it’s about learning to forgive yourself and those around you. It’s about family at its core. Another great read I would highly recommend, maybe by a pool with a fun drink in your hand.
The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel – 5 Stars I would give this one all the stars if I could. Sometimes a book is just what you need in that moment and this was mine! I had just dnf’d a book and then finished one that was meh so I picked this one hoping it would be better. It was!!!! I loved the main character and how she wasn’t afraid to be herself even when her upbringing was saying to be something else. Her friends loved her and even though they all did things differently the love and support was amazing!! I love a good hate to love and this one was great!! Highly recommend.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson – 3 Stars Earlier this year I read The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes and really enjoyed it. There is some controversy surrounding these two books but I am not going to get into that here. At the center the stories were similar, about the packhorse librarians in Kentucky in the 1930’s and 40’s. To me that was where the similarities ended, this story added another element by introducing up to the blue people of Kentucky. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story because it gave me something new to research about. My main compliant with this one is that I wish there was more interaction between the main character and some of the side characters, because there wasn’t as much some of the ending was hard to take. I also wanted a ton more from the ending, it left me with so many questions! Overall still a fun read and am glad to have read more on this subject!
Camp by L.C. Rosen – 4 Stars In Camp we are following a group of teens who every summer go to Camp Outland, a camp for kids who are LGBTQ+. This is Randy’s 4th year and this summer he is determined to win over Hudson and not just be one of his conquests. To do this he changes his name to Del and hangs out with the more masculine crowd instead of his theater group. What follows is not only making Hudson fall in love him but also a discovery of himself. Randy learns that he does like sports and being a leader but also loves acting and theater. This was a really cute story about learning to accept you and your peers for who they are and not who you think they should be. Randy’s family is very accepting of him and who he is while Hudson’s family is not. Hudson’s family thinks he should be normal and to fall into stereotypes. At times I struggled with Randy because he was changing himself so much for someone who didn’t know all of him and kept ditching his friends for Hudson but in the end it all worked out. I also really enjoyed the theater aspect of this book, every summer they do a musical but cast based on skill and not gender. I would have loved to see their version of Bye Bye Birdie where he was more of a Ziggy Stardust character! Overall this was a fun book and gave it 4 stars. Thank you Netgalley, Fantastic Flying BookClub and Little Brown Books for my copy in exchange for my review.
The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis – 5 Stars Here we follow Brynn and Kinsey who used to go to summer camp together when they were younger but never liked each other. Years later they are once again thrown together but this time there is much more going on. Enter Eli who is Kinsey’s best friend but has a thing for Brynn. I really loved this one like I have all the others by her. I loved Kinsey’s character and her harsh self defense mechanism and her relationship with Deck! This story tackles family in all forms and battling illness. Such a great read, highly recommend!
Walk the Dog Isabel Jolie Publication date: June 8th 2020 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A steamy, fun single dad stand-alone romance set in New York City and New Orleans.
Temporary. That’s my life in New York. Eventually, I’ll have to move back home to New Orleans. In the meantime, I’m all about enjoying these years.
Against my better judgment, I agree to dogsit for my friend. As I feared, it does not go well. As a matter of fact, it goes so poorly we end up at the vet- the dog’s fault, not mine.
On the bright side, Dr. Herriot could star in his own veterinary reality TV show, if there is such a thing. The man is sex in scrubs.
Mason Herriot might just become the highlight of my year. As it turns out, not only is he single, but he also needs some fun in his overworked life. And fun? That I can do.
My daughter is my world. The fledgling veterinary practice is my career and my passion. As a single dad, I couldn’t balance both without help from others. Some days, it doesn’t feel like I’m balancing anything at all.
Delilah Daniels walks into the clinic on one of those days. My partners are out with the flu, and I, once again, am stuck at work.
I can’t even explain why I ask her out. It’s spontaneous. There’s an energy to her. A zest for life. And there’s something about how she cares for her friend’s dog.
We aim for casual. I may be a single dad, but I’m not blind. Delilah packs some curves and it proves hard to keep those dates family-friendly.
In a nanosecond, casual loses all appeal. We can make this work. If I can convince Delilah her home’s no longer in the Big Easy…
Less than two steps into the great room, I halt. On every single wall, pieces of paper are taped. For a minute, I’m unsure, but no, it’s most definitely children’s art. Some of the paper bears the marks of age, faded colors, and dust. Those are mostly comprised of lines and scribbles. Some of the fresher papers include torn-out pages from coloring books, carefully drawn in the lines. A few are colorful paintings in the abstract. Handprints and footprints. Others landscape and animal drawings. Many cat and dog line sketches. I point at the paintings and grin. “Do your kid owners send you artwork?”
He slips both hands into his front pockets and closes one eye, as if he’s thinking about my question. “Kid owners? You mean my patients’ owners?”
“Yeah.” There’s a ton of art here. He must have been collecting these for years.
“No. My daughter is a budding artist. These are all hers.”
Jesus, Mother, Mary, and Angels. I did not expect that. A single dad. I’ve never done that before. Dated a parent. People with kids usually seem so different.
His shoe taps mine. “You can close your mouth.”
“Oh, no, I ah—”
“I should’ve said something yesterday, but I didn’t really know how to bring it up. I haven’t dated, or tried to date, since she was born. If it’s an issue for you, we can just be friends. Really. I’ve got a great vegetarian lasagna in the oven and a huge kale salad, so I hope you’ll still stay for dinner. An adult dinner without a child at the table is a rarity for me.”
As he’s talking, I twist around, studying all the art, wishing my brain would catch up. This is fine. What does it matter if he has a daughter? I’ll probably never meet her. I mean, isn’t that kind of a rule among single parents? You don’t introduce dates until you’re serious? And I’m gonna be moving. I don’t do serious. But wait…
“Are you single?”
He exhales, and it sounds like a mixture of a laugh and relief. “Yes. Never been married, actually. Kara lives with me. Her mom’s in a band and isn’t around. Or…she hasn’t been.” He calls as he heads to a hall at the end of the room, “Can I get you something to drink? Wine? Water?”
“Wine, please.” Yes, this situation calls for alcoholic reinforcement.
Isabel Jolie, or Izzy to her friends, is an Amazon bestselling indie author with an unquenchable thirst for a good, sexy love story. Izzy’s heart pumps faster for stories with strong heroines, down-to-earth realism, and an unexpected twist.
When she’s not writing or reading, she can often be found with a glass of wine in hand relaxing with her husband, daughters, and good friends lakeside.
Izzy fills her Instagram feed with funnies, inspirational “brain candy”, and anything that meshes with her mood of the day. #mood.
Benjamin’s smile turned to a look of horror as she waved her phone at him.
“I’ve followed you on Instagram.”
Benjamin dragged a hand through his messy hair and looked away with a sheepish smile.
“Ah. You found me, then.” He stooped down and picked Maggie up in his arms. She cuddled into him, wrapping her arms around his neck.
“Benjy,” she said in a baby voice. The sight made Krista melt inside.
“You were right. You are fun.”
And insanely sexy, she added silently with a smirk.
“Well, you might notice I haven’t posted for a month,” he pointed at her phone as he bobbed Maggie up and down. Krista got to her feet and patted the sand off her legs.
“Well, I’m sure your 1.2 million followers miss you. Let me take a picture of you with Maggie.”
Krista positioned her phone up to capture a picture of Benjamin stooping his head low against Maggie’s brow. She looked up at him with big eyes and her hand touched his cheek. The two of them were perfectly framed by the sunset and glowed dark against the ocean.
“Your followers will die when they see this.”
“My Real Life Time Out” by Rimmy London
“The way you navigate the world around you—the way you care for it. There’s something so genuine about you that makes me want to be more. I love being around you. Everything about you.”
He paused to take a shaky breath. “I just wanted to tell you now instead of pretending I didn’t feel anything…because I do.”
His gaze was tentative, vulnerable and so unusually insecure. He’d said the perfect words, all smothered in simmering glances like butter.
“I Never Told You” by Jessie Cal
Jess finally shoved the last piece of her s’more into her mouth. “I think it’s time to call it a night,” she said with her mouth full, and his heart ached a bit. Thoughts of holding her in his arms and watching the night sky flooded his mind, and he shook his head like shaking off a spell.
“Do you need help getting Bill’s grandkids in the tent?” he offered, standing with her.
“That would be great.” She squeezed his arm as a thankful gesture, and he forced himself to ignore the electricity that came with her touch. “If you can carry Zach, I’ll pick up little Cole.”
Even in the way she dragged her feet, he could tell she was tired. His mind suddenly conjured an image of him pulling her into a comforting embrace, but he pushed it aside.
After laying the last boy down inside the tent, he stepped out only to find himself standing in front of her again.
“Thank you.” She let out a tired sigh. “You must be exhausted.”
“I enjoyed every minute of it, though,” he said, flashing her a soft smile. “Minus the shark incident, of course.”
She blurted out a laugh then covered her mouth so as not to wake the kids. “Really? Cause that was the highlight of my day.”
She stifled another laugh. “Good night, Logan.” She leaned in and wrapped him in a hug. Her hair smelled like salt water which was oddly comforting. When she pulled back, he grabbed her hand. He had no idea why, or what he would say. And she was looking at him, waiting for an explanation, but he didn’t have one. He simply wanted to hold her hand.
No, that wasn’t true. That wasn’t all he wanted.
He opened his mouth to speak, to tell her about all the crazy flutters he’d been feeling in the pit of his stomach all night, but then she looked down at their fingers laced together, and he no longer knew what to say. What was she thinking? Did she like the way it felt as much as he did? Should he just pull her into his arms and kiss her?
“I think being on this island is messing with our heads,” she whispered, slipping her hand out of his and pulling away. “Good night, Logan.”
And there was his heart again, racing at the sound of her saying his name. “Good night, Jess.”
Hello Book Friends! How was everyone’s May? Sorry this is so late! I decided to take a few weeks off of social media so I haven’t posted anything on my blog or instagram. I read 10 books and had 2 DNF’s. Here are the 5 I read in the first half of the month. Keep reading to see my thoughts!
Bad Day For Sunshine by Darynda Jones – 5 Stars I really loved this book from the beginning! It follows Sunshine, the newly elected Sheriff for Del Sol, New Mexico, only one small catch is they she didn’t know she was in the running. Sunshine returns back to her home after having left years prior after an accident left her injured both physically and emotionally. I loved Sunshine and her daughter and the town’s cast of quirky characters. I can’t wait to see where the next book takes us!
The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan – 4Stars William Sweeney was a famous author and when he died he not only left his three daughters a memoir to find but also a surprise sister. We follow the three Sweeney sisters as they come to turns on who their famous father was, changes in their personal lives and a new addition to the family. This book started off pretty slow and I had a hard time getting into the story. It was probably at least halfway thru that I started to actually like any of the main characters and want to know how their story ends.
The oldest sister Liza was a typical mom for their neighborhood. Her kids were in all the right clubs and programs, she was a dutiful wife to her successful husband and she even owned her own art gallery. She is the sister who holds it all together and makes sure everyone is doing what they are supposed too. The middle sister Maggie is the artist and she is very selfish. I never liked her throughout the book and even though she has some growth in the end she was not redeemed in my eyes. She was cruel to her sisters and was only looking out for her self. The youngest sister Tricia at first appeared to be a very cold and distant sister but as the story goes on she became my favorite. She is a lawyer in Manhattan and very good at her job. I loved her story arc and Raj!! The fourth sister who is actually the oldest is Serena Tucker, she is a journalist and grew up next door to the sisters. I enjoyed how the four ended up rallying around each other and supporting one another. Sister’s are not always easy to get along with and this book showed that but in the end they all loved and supported each other. Overall I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a great job of bringing you into the family and getting you to feel the emotions of all the characters. This would be a fun summer read, its not too hard hitting and the setting of being in Connecticut in the summer was perfect! Thank you Netgalley, Harper Collins, Goodreads and the Fantastic Flying Bookclub for my copies!
Starlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs – 4 Stars
This was my first book by Susan Wiggs and it won’t be my last! I randomly picked this one up from my little free library because of the cover. This story follows Faith who is a widow with 2 children who is barely making ends meet. She ends up taking a job taking care of a woman who after an accident became a qiuadralpalegic. We not only follow Faith and her children but her client and her family is well. I really enjoyed this story, it had romance but at its core was just a great family story about growth.
The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs – 4 Stars This was my second book by this author and I greatly enjoyed it. This is the story of Natalie who looses her mother in a tragic accident and takes over the family bookstore in San Fransisco. Natalie has just been given a promotion at her job up in Sonoma that she doesn’t really like so she decides to quit her job so she can move back to the bookstore where she grew up to take care of her grandfather. When she gets there she finds out that the store is so far behind in bills that there is not a lot she can do to save it. She also finds out that her grandfathers health is getting worse. There is so much more to this story than just Natalie trying to save the bookstore, there is so much history. I love learning knew things in books and then researching it so I can know more. There was also a lot of family history too, Natalies mother and grandfather were researching their family history that have lived in that building for three generations. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a sweet family book that also has a little history and romance and its set in a bookstore. Thank you Netgalley, Harper Collins and William Morrow for advance copy, all opinions are my own.
Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis – 5 Stars This was my first book by Jill Shalvis and I absolutely loved it. I read 2 more by her before the month was over. Lanie is a recent widow who found out after his death that he had left several other woman grieving with his passing. Needing a change of pace Lanie takes a job at a family run winery in Sanoma California. Lanie not only falls for the handsome single dad but also his entire family. This one was so cute and fun, highly recommend for a vacation or beach read.
Zinnia Christina Bauer (Angelbound Offspring #3) Published by: Monster House Books Publication date: July 30th 2019 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
As the last dragon shifter, I live alone, hiding in one of Earth’s sacred deserts. My human handlers tell me that I have no parents, no name, and no purpose other than to train for battle and one day become a vessel for the reincarnation of Chimera, the greatest dragon shifter of all. Sadly, Chimera’s rebirth will mean my own death. But my handlers say this sacrifice is a noble fate that will rebuild the dragon shifter world.
I shall die on my seventeenth birthday. That’s five days from now.
Then I hear music thumping across the desert. I take my mortal form, follow the sound, and find humans dancing in what they call a rave. There is a stage and a rock band. One thing quickly becomes clear: Unlike the audience, the musicians are dragon shifters, just like me. And one of them, the guitar player Rhodes, makes my knees turn watery. The lead singer, Kaps, has something strangely familiar about her.
It all adds up to one conclusion: My handlers lied to me. I’m not the last of my kind. Memories reappear. I had parents once. Portia and Tempest. I even had a name. Zinnia. Perhaps I have a reason to live as well. I step past the dancing humans to confront the players.
Tucking my unicorn comforter under my chin, I come to a big decision.
Naptime is for losers.
I may only be nine—well, almost ten—but I know one thing: there are way too many rules for dragon princesses like me. For starters, we’re supposed to take naps every bleeding afternoon. No way. Napping is for babies. That’s why I’m sneaking out today to see my best friend, LT.
Twisting under my covers, I check out my bedroom. There are pink curtains, white furniture, and the royal crest of Furonium over the door. My parents rule all the dragon shifters, so that crest-thingy hangs everywhere. My sisters, Kaps and Huntress, lie in their bunk beds across the room. So you know, my family stays in human form most of the time. No dragon caves for us, thank you very much. Those places have bats.
Squinting, I look at my sisters more closely. Are they really out of it? Can I sneak away? Like always, Kaps lays half-off the top bunk. Wisps of brown hair hang over her mouth, blowing in and out with her snores. I shake my head.
Even asleep, my twin is noisy.
Meanwhile, Huntress rests curled up on her side. Her shoulders rise and fall silently. Huntress never lets out a sound, even when she’s snoozing.
That settles it.
Both my sisters are totally zonked.
Time to go.
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
by Lev A.C. Rosen Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Release Date: May 26th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Queer
From the author of the acclaimed Jack of Hearts (and other parts) comes a sweet and sharp screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity within the queer community.
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?
In Camp we are following a group of teens who every summer go to Camp Outland, a camp for kids who are LGBTQ+. This is Randy’s 4th year and this summer he is determined to win over Hudson and not just be one of his conquests. To do this he changes his name to Del and hangs out with the more masculine crowd instead of his theater group. What follows is not only making Hudson fall in love him but also a discovery of himself. Randy learns that he does like sports and being a leader but also loves acting and theater.
This was a really cute story about learning to accept you and your peers for who they are and not who you think they should be. Randy’s family is very accepting of him and who he is while Hudson’s family is not. Hudson’s family thinks he should be normal and to fall into stereotypes. At times I struggled with Randy because he was changing himself so much for someone who didn’t know all of him and kept ditching his friends for Hudson but in the end it all worked out. I also really enjoyed the theater aspect of this book, every summer they do a musical but cast based on skill and not gender. I would have loved to see their version of Bye Bye Birdie where he was more of a Ziggy Stardust character! Overall this was a fun book and gave it 4 stars. Thank you Netgalley, Fantastic Flying BookClub and Little Brown Books for my copy in exchange for my review.
Lev Rosen is the author of books for all ages. Two for adults: All Men of Genius (Amazon Best of the Month, Audie Award Finalist) and Depth (Amazon Best of the Year, Shamus Award Finalist, Kirkus Best Science Fiction for April). Two middle-grade books: Woundabout (illustrated by his brother, Ellis Rosen), and The Memory Wall. His first Young Adult Novel, Jack of Hearts (and other parts) was an American Library Association Rainbow List Top 10 of 2018. His books have been sold around the world and translated into different languages as well as being featured on many best of the year lists, and nominated for awards.
Lev is originally from lower Manhattan and now lives in even lower Manhattan, right at the edge, with his husband and very small cat. You can find him online at LevACRosen.com and @LevACRosen
CAMP has been optioned by HBO Max to be turned into a feature film for the streaming service. Academy Award winner Dan Jinks (American Beauty, Milk) will produce through his Dan Jinks Company, and Kit Williamson (creator, director, and star of the Emmy-nominated series EastSiders) will write the screenplay.
Outfoxed R.J. Blain (The Fox Witch, #1) Publication date: November 3rd 2020 Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Death is a way of life outside of the safety of Inner Tulsa, and Jade means to keep flipping Mother Nature off until old age claims her. With one eye always on the sky, the last thing she needs is a pack of bounty hunters out for her living head. With no idea of why anyone would want her, her wits might keep her free, assuming she can resist the charming lures of Sandro, one of the men out to claim her as his own.
Left with the choice of being the evening snack of a tornado or taking shelter with the bounty hunter, she does what she does best: she lives on the edge.
Striking a bargain with the handsome bounty hunter buys her another day of life, but it also dumps her into the heart of a sinister plot, one meant to enslave the residents of the storm-tossed city—and the others brave and foolish enough to call the Alley home.
I’d been in the Alley long enough to understand only one thing mattered when faced with yet another twister: survival. The swarm of them headed for Tulsa roared, warning all of their impending arrival. The incessant crash of thunder accompanied the lightning, which struck with such frequency the dark clouds glowed white. I decided to stopped counting after five funnels; one, five, ten—it didn’t matter how many of them snaked down from the sky. If one of them got a hold of me, I’d just be another corpse strewn over the Alley. A day didn’t go by when I didn’t cross a new skeleton in the outskirts.
Death was a way of life outside of the safety of Inner Tulsa.
Another twister joined the party, bringing a cascade of hail with it.
Great. Just great. What was one more? Hadn’t Mother Nature figured out she didn’t need to fling everything she had at Tulsa? A single tornado would’ve done the job just fine.
A few minutes too late to do me any good, the lightning-lit clouds turned a putrid shade of green, a promise that Mother Nature wasn’t screwing around this time. Green meant go, and if I’d had any sense in my head at all, I wouldn’t have left shelter at sunrise; I would’ve stayed in hiding until right before work. Everything would’ve been different if I’d just slept in rather than explore the ruins of Tulsa’s outskirts for salvage.
If I hadn’t been looking for salvage, I wouldn’t have been spotted by the tall, dark, and handsome hot on my heels and determined to ruin my day if he caught up with me.
The swarm would cause me enough problems, but if the bounty hunter caught me, I’d be in worse shape.
Some choices in life were tough, and I hated myself for even contemplating taking my chances with the bounty hunter. Losing my freedom for profit could be reversed. Nothing could reverse death.
I flattened my ears, and I lashed my tail back and forth, the rain whipping off it. While I was part fox, I’d adopted more feline tendencies than canine ones. And I, according the tail and ears I couldn’t banish with any amount of magic, I was definitely a cat trapped in a partly canine body.
I could shift into a full fox, a secret I held close to my chest. The instant anyone learned the truth, I’d go from a common annoyance to a desirable. Nobody cared about powerless hybrids.
Everybody wanted full shapeshifters in their bloodlines, and I had trouble enough as it was.
Since six twisters wasn’t enough, the churning clouds spawned two more, and with unerring accuracy, they surged towards the city in a wall of churning wind, rain, and hail.
Tornado season had come, and it looked like it was going to open with a bang.
I skidded around a corner of a former house, a victim of a twister a few months back when the sky had opted to give us a break for a change. Shacks had sprouted like persistent little weeds, but I expected none of them would survive the storm. I worried for their inhabitants, but if they had half a brain, they’d take shelter in a cellar.
If they didn’t, they’d add to the bodies littering the dying suburban streets.
While I had the advantage of knowledge, the bounty hunter had me beat everywhere else, and he snagged the back of my shirt, yanked hard enough to cut off my breath, and slammed me into the broken brick of the trashed house. “Are you insane?” he screamed over the wind. “You’re not supposed to run towards tornadoes, you little idiot!”
I blinked, checked where I’d been running, and sure enough, Mother Nature had truly had enough of my shit, opting to dump another handful of twisters directly into my path. When the twisters converged, probably where we were standing, it’d puree the neighborhood and leave matchsticks in their wake.
Stuck between a rock, a hard place, and a bounty hunter, I had few options if I wanted to keep my head long enough to figure out if death beat being picked up by a bounty hunter. Fortunately, the sensible had left the area anticipating the weather to sour, leaving their storm cellars open for my use—our use, as I wouldn’t leave him behind despite wishing I could ditch him without losing my freedom.
Sometimes, I really questioned why I tried to meet society’s standards of being a good person. Being a good person was a pain in the ass.
As Mother Nature was a bitch on a mission of destruction, the twisters barreled our way. I cursed myself, cursed the hunk of a bounty hunter making a mess of my morning, and cursed my choice of moving to the Alley in the first place. “There’s a cellar nearby.” I pointed down the street in the general direction of my favorite bolt hole, which I’d have to abandon once I shared it with the man out to profit from my head—living head, at least.
The bounty hunters wanting my living head in their possession was looking to be the bright part of my morning.
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.
Smoke and Ritual Melissa Sercia (Beautiful Dark Beasts, #1) Published by: City Owl Press Publication date: May 5th 2020 Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
The voices haunt her…
Their whispers taunt her with a war she never wanted…
But Arya Frost has more to contend with than the cryptic voices disturbing her sleep.
Protected inside the haven of Sanctum after losing both her parents in the Blood War a decade ago, Arya is different from other witches. She’s the only witch without a coven.
Or so she thinks.
As her powers accelerate, so do the revelations about her true lineage.
Destined to become the Aether—a witch who can control all four elements—the Elemental covens want her magic, power she didn’t even know she had.
And when the sexy and mysterious god, Chaos shows up, Arya’s place in the world is put even more at risk.
But learning who and what she is, and how to wield her power only tips the surface of the battle raging inside her. She’ll have to find a way to awaken her magic, deal with her growing attraction to Chaos, all while being thrust into the middle of a magical feud that has been building for centuries.
The Blood War might be over, but the war between witches is just beginning.
Flipping through my copy of the Sang Magi spell book, I turned to the potion section again, desperate to understand what I was doing wrong…but all the ingredient names seemed to blur together. Not even the most sacred book of magic could help me. It was useless. I tossed it on the floor and buried my head in my hands.
A sharp pain seared between my temples and I rifled through my desk for a calming elixir. My ears tingled. Just when I thought I could finally relax, the silent comfort of my room was interrupted by a burst of frantic voices, echoing throughout the halls. This time of night was always so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. What the hell was going on out there?
Folding my wings back into my shoulders, I crept to the door and pressed my cheek against it. The brisk shuffling of feet was paired with gasps and whispers. With my ear still on the door, I reached for my hoodie and pulled it on, always careful to keep my back covered. Even with my wings hidden, two distinct black lines were etched into my shoulder blades, thick and somewhat raised like a freshly inked tattoo. The footsteps in the hall intensified, a mixture of heavy boots and pointy heels thudding against the floor with urgency. I threw open the door just as Sapphire came bumbling toward me, breathless.
“Arya! Something’s happening. Everyone’s heading toward the library. C’mon, let’s go.” She tugged at my wrist.
I let her drag me down the hall. “Hold on. Slow down. Why is everyone freaking out?” Faces full of shock and awe whipped past us.
She spun around, full stop, and faced me, almost knocking me back. “Chaos is here.”
“The god?” I couldn’t have heard her right. Maybe I drank too much of that calming elixir.
“No, the rock star. Yes, the god. We need to hurry and get in there.” Her grip tightened around my wrist as we followed the frenzied crowd toward the Library of Covens.
My heart pounded. The gods didn’t leave Elysium unless the fate of humanity depended on it. At least that was what happened the last time. The only time actually. Gray had convinced Chaos to help her fight in the Blood War against Cerberus, the guardian of the Underworld. But we were in an age of peace now. Why was he here?
Melissa Sercia is an Urban Fantasy author with a passion for philosophy, mythology, and all things supernatural. She is the author of the Blood and Darkness and Beautiful Dark Beasts series’. Melissa lives in California with her man and her cat. When she’s not building dark fantasy worlds and slaying demons, you can find her in the kitchen cooking with a glass of wine in her hand.
Hickville Crossroads Mary Karlik (Hickville High Series, #4) Publication date: May 4th 2020 Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Frasier Anderson is one of the hottest teenage actors in the UK, but he’s virtually unknown in the US. Now he’s landed the leading role in a big-budget Hollywood film that could make him an international star.
So how do you prepare a Scot for a role as a Texas high school student? Give him a fake name, a fake accent, and embed him in a Texas high school. He only has to follow three rules:
No drama. No girls. And no telling who he really is.
Jenna Wiley is smart, funny, and has a few no-drama, no-dating rules of her own. Her friendship with new kid Ethan Smith is perfect and might even lead to something more. Except for a few things that don’t add up. Like his mom being afraid to have company. Or their house, which is more staged than lived in. Or his sister, whom nobody talks about.
It all comes to a boil when Frasier’s biggest secrets hit the tabloids and the paparazzi swarm Hillside with Jenna in their sights.
Can Frasier convince Jenna that shy, goofy Ethan Smith is closer to real than the image the tabloids have created?
And can she ever forgive him for breaking the most important rule of all? Because for Jenna, when it comes to love and science, the truth is all that matters.
Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.
You can find her Texas roots in her indie published, YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”
She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for her YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series published by Ink Monster Publishing LLC. Her first book, Magic Harvest, debuted in September of 2018. It reached #1 in 3 categories of YA Fantasy on Amazon. Magic Heist, the second in the series has been described as “a fun twisty read which will never let you guess what will happen next.”
Mary recently moved from the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she was a certified professional ski instructor to Texas. She loves visiting Scotland where she is currently earning a degree in Gaelic Language Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye—part of the University of Highlands and Islands system. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.
Mary is an active member of Romance Writers of America and serves on a national committee of RWA. She formerly served on the board of the Young Adult Romance Writers of America. She is an active member of the Dallas Area Romance Authors and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.